Hotels throw away 5 million bars of soap each day.
Most people only stay in a hotel room for a few days, so it is unlikely that you are going to work your way through the complimentary soap bar. Perhaps you have wondered what happens to the leftover soap once the room changes hands.
Some of the soap ends up in Orlando, at a company called ‘Clean the World‘. They recycle old soap to make new soap.
Rather than tossing those partially used soap bars into the landfill, they use the unused soap to help others around the world. Clean the World uses those soap bars and the hotels even pay them 50 cents per bar to take it off their hands, according to Thrillist.
Clean the World has partnered with Unilever and other cosmetic companies to take the reject soap bars off their hands as well. Once they arrive in the warehouses of Clean the World, founded in India, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Montreal and Orlando, the soap is melted and then formed into new bars. After the soap has been packaged, it is sent off to charities around the world.
This is no small operation. In 2016, they made some 7 million bars of soap and 400k hygiene kits. 500,000 of those soap bars helped people affected by Hurricane Matthew in the Bahamas and Haiti.
In addition to working with bars of soap, they also use body wash, partially used shampoo and conditioner. They carefully inspect the items. The bottles must be at least 3/4 full and any emptier bottles are recycled. The hygiene kits they make include toothbrushes, toothpaste and hand sanitizer. They are distributed to those in need around the world.